OAKLAND – The A’s won’t be welcoming Brett Anderson back to their starting rotation yet.
The left-hander is still having trouble with his sprained right ankle, and manager Bob Melvin said it’s unlikely Anderson will pitch for Oakland in “in the foreseeable future.”
Anderson made a rehabilitation start for Double-A Midland on Sunday, and the A’s hoped to slot him into the big league rotation Friday against the Kansas City Royals. But Anderson’s ankle bothered him after he went through pitcher’s fielding practice Tuesday, and he still had soreness before Wednesday’s game against the Texas Rangers.
Oddly enough, the ankle does not bother him at all when he throws off the mound. But fielding his position, and covering first base, is when it bothers him the most.
“It’s one of those things where if I didn’t have to do anything but throw the ball and not worry about secondary stuff, I’d be OK,” Anderson said. “But as soon as I have to cover first or do something where I have to push off of it, it’s not feeling well enough to where I think I could go out there and get through a start at this point.”
It’s the latest in a series of physical setbacks that have hindered Anderson’s career going back to 2010.
He missed time with elbow inflammation that season and eventually underwent Tommy John surgery in July 2011, which kept him out until August 2012. Anderson is considered one of the American League’s top left-handed starters when healthy, but he’s averaged just over 12 starts over the past three full seasons.
“It’s frustrating because I’m tired of being on the DL -- it gets old,” he said. “There aren’t too many people you can kind of (consult) with this about. (Former teammate Brandon) McCarthy is probably my best bet because he had that stretch where he was off the mound for a couple years there. But I can’t feel sorry for myself. I’ve just got to go try and get healthy and get on the mound.”
Anderson originally hurt the ankle April 19, when he landed wrong while making a pitch against Tampa Bay. He made his next start, then was scheduled to be skipped for an April 29 turn against the Angels. But he wound up pitching 5 1/3 innings in relief of that night’s 19-inning marathon, and his ankle has bothered him since then.
He is 1-4 with a 6.21 ERA this season.
“It’s just not at the point where we’re comfortable putting him on a big league mound yet and go through what we had to go through the last couple times,” Melvin said. “He wants to pitch but he also understands he’s not ready to at this point.”
The A's are off Thursday, so with Anderson remaining out, everyone in the rotation will just move up a game. Jarrod Parker will start Friday's series opener against Kansas City, with Tommy Milone going Saturday and A.J. Griffin on Sunday.
--There was good news on the injury front for Oakland, as center fielder Coco Crisp was activated from the 15-day disabled list and batted leadoff Wednesday against the Rangers. Crisp missed 14 games with a strained left hamstring.
“He really is kind of the guy that starts the engine,” Melvin said.
Michael Taylor was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento to clear a roster spot.
--Fellow outfielder Chris Young (strained left quadriceps) is scheduled to play for Sacramento on Thursday and rejoin the A’s Friday if all goes well.
--Melvin was appreciative that the Warriors sent him two tickets to Game 6 of their Western Conference semifinal series against the Spurs. Melvin wore a Warriors shirt underneath his jersey Monday and Tuesday, and he expressed his admiration for Golden State coach Mark Jackson.
Jackson visited the A’s during batting practice last season.
“I text back and forth with Mark a little bit,” Melvin said. “He knows I’m a big Warriors fan.”